Tag Archives: Adrian Peterson

Media Reacts: NFL’s First Month in 6 Years With No Arrests

by Nicholas Muhl

The first month of the 2015 NFL regular season ended this past weekend. The end of September also marked the first month in 6 years that no NFL player has been arrested.

According to Reuters reporter Mike Rosenberg, the NFL has averaged “an arrest per week” since 2009. Rosenberg also reported that this is the first time in 15 years “the NFL went a calendar month during the season without an arrest.” The league has already had 33 total arrests in 2015, most recently San Fransisco 49ers Linebacker Ahmad Brooks who was charged with sexual battery at the end of August.

Alexandra Sifferlin reported the news for TIME and included a link in his article to USA Today’s NFL arrest archive. The archive contains a complete, descriptive account of a total of 805 NFL player arrests records dating back 15 years to January 24, 2000 when Broncos wide receiver Rod Smith was arrested for allegedly beating and choking his wife. It seems paradoxical that 15 years later we continue to see so many similar headlines. Katie Link and Christian Bryant of the Ventura County Star posed this question about the news of an arrest-free month, “should we view this ‘achievement’ as pathetic, or impressive?” On the other hand, the Dispatch Times referred to it as a “mind-blowing milestone.”  

Since 2009 the NFL has been subject to many media and criminal investigations regarding their many player arrests. Most notably is former New England Patriots Tight End Aaron Hernandez who was convicted of murder in April. Hernandez and other high profile players like former Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy, San Francisco’s Ray MacDonald, Baltimore Ravens Ray Rice, and Viking’s Adrian Peterson have made national headlines and brought up many social issues outside of the sport of football; including rape culture, drug use, animal cruelty, and alcohol and drug abuse. 

The criminal history and violent backgrounds behind many NFL players is not an issue the media has shied away from reporting. However, it is important to note that news of the NFL’s arrest-free month quickly spread on social media, sports blogs and major media conglomerates. This differs from the issue of injuries which I detailed in my article last week, “Protecting the player’s or Protecting the Shield”. Approximately 15 percent of players in the league have experienced an injury this season. While on an individual level this has been heavily reported, injuries and their increasing totals have been a largely avoided issue. However, media and the league did not shy away from making sure (quite literally) that everyone knows it went through an arrest-free month. The NFL and it’s PR department have attempted to put some distance between itself and both the injury and conduct issues the league faces, and will jump at any opportunity they can to make the league look better as it and commissioner Roger Goodell continue to face extreme criticism for the way the league is currently being run. It remains to be seen whether real change is progressing in the league or if this month was merrily a statistical anomaly that further proves the major conduct issues the NFL faces.

Violence Again the Topic of Another Weekend’s NFL Headlines

By Nick Muhl

Many of this weekends National Football League games brought about more headlines discussing the violence and the aggressive nature of some of its players. Rather than game recaps and analysis, many media outlets have taken this opportunity to once again criticize the NFL for not doing a better job in educating players to avoid these types of incidents.

The largest incident this weekend by far came in the game between the Tennessee Titans and New York Jets. Late in the third quarter, Jets quarterback Geno Smith and Titans defensive lineman Jurell Casey exchanged words following a play. Jurell Casey seemed to take offense to something Geno Smith said, and threw a punch into the right side of his helmet as Smith walked away. Chaos ensued after, with both teams clearing benches into a massive brawl.

In the game between the Washington Redskins and New York Giants, Redskins receiver Santana Moss had to be ejected from the game after his furious outburst in the face of an official. Moss was upset after the officiating crew overturned a Robert Griffin III touchdown at the end of the first half.

Reporters and writers did not shy away from reporting on a heated exchange of words between Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant and Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins. The two players only seemed to jaw at each other for the most part, but the conversation did not look like a friendly one.

While some of these examples may seem petty, it brings to light an important issue the NFL must face. Since news stories of Adrian Peterson, Ray Rice, Darren Sharper, Greg Hardy and Ray McDonald broke, the NFL has tried to distance itself from being associated with questionable characters. All of these are either current or former NFL players currently under investigation in cases involving domestic violence, rape, child abuse, and other violent crimes.

This weekend is another example of how much work the NFL still has ahead of it, if it wants to repair its image and regain the respect of many. Sundays NFL games were another example of how the media will do everything it can to continue to highlight the NFL’s issue as long as it remains fresh on fans minds. The NFL may continue to grow frustrated with many media headlines, but they must focus on changing the culture of the NFL and it’s players if it wants to avoid further such headlines.

Adrian Peterson’s Nike Contract Termination and Media Involvement

By McKenzie Whiteman

Even people who aren’t avid football followers know of the controversy regarding its supposedly “criminal” players. Many of the NFL’s athletes have found themselves in the middle of legal battles, fighting to keep their contracts and reputations. Few, however, are viewed as receiving fair punishment in the eyes of the general public. NFL players, much like any professional athlete, seem to find themselves receiving a slap on the wrist instead of any harsh punishment. Adrian Peterson, however, found yet another blow to his career.

Peterson served as the running back for the Minnesota Vikings since 2007. However, this past year has caused his career to come to a halt. Peterson faced felony charges for child abuse after witnesses say he struck his 4 year-old son with a tree branch. He rejected accusations to a felony charge, but pleaded no contest to reckless assault, a misdemeanor charge, on Tuesday. While the fate of his career is still in debate, Peterson has already lost a major part of his image, and this can partially be attributed to the close eye the media currently has on him.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, Nike has recently resigned its contract it held with Peterson. Peterson had rejoined its contract with Nike in 2013, only to be suspended in September. While there are no final comments as to why, one can assume that the legal battle and limited positive exposure he’s recently had may be to blame. While his actions are completely at fault, the media can cause a story to go viral. I’m sure this is what Nike fears the most, and why they ultimately decided to end their partnership with Peterson.

Because Adrian Peterson is the high-profile athlete that he is, any detail of this story is immediately spread. Any result of a legal battle, any opinion that is stated, and any rumor that stirs, is quickly picked up by the media and made available to the public. Because Nike is so reliant on high-profile athletes to market its brand, any threat to the company’s reputation is quickly and aggressively handled. This is exactly what happened in regards to Peterson’s future with the company. Speculation of child abuse already threatened his future with the organization. But after pleading no contest to reckless assault on Tuesday, I’m sure Nike felt as its high-profile reputation didn’t include his persona any longer.

While it’s becoming more and more often that professional athletes are finding themselves in legal troubles, it’s the media that will hurt them in the end. Whether what they report is true or false it affects how the general public views them as ambassadors to their team and sponsors. Companies involved don’t want to be dragged through the self-inflicted troubles that their athletes are going through. The fate of Peterson’s career will be based on how much the NFL and other involved parties are willing to endure the media hits and persona that come along with his charges. Hopefully other athletes take these incidences into consideration before they find themselves in the same predicament.

The NFL and Peterson Moving Forward

BY CHELSEA VANASSCHE

One of the NFL’s most beloved and talented players, Adrian Peterson, is facing a tragic loss. The running back for the Minnesota Vikings, received the news that his 2-year-old son had passed away from an alleged assault.

Reports confirm that Peterson’s son suffered injuries from an alleged assault and later that day died of the injuries. A man identified as Joseph Patterson, the boyfriend of the son’s mother, is a suspect.

Through this tragedy we as fans see the NFL, other professional leagues, teams and players around the nation come to together to support this one player and his family. Peterson has tweeted numerous times his gratitude toward the NFL and its players. 

We can expect this to be a high profile case due to the fact Peterson is a public figure and this is an infant death involving assault. 

While right now it might be too early to talk about moving forward, I can see Peterson being an advocate for child abuse. I can see him donating money to child abuse organizations and really being a “face” for these non-profit organizations. 

We as fans hope the NFL does something to honor the child, Peterson, and the overall issue of child abuse. As much as Peterson does for the league, it’s the least they can do for him during this tragic time. The NFL does a good job of stepping up in times of tragedy and I expect nothing less from the league.

Peterson is known for his perseverance. NFL fans saw him dominate in the league in 2012 winning the Most Valuable Player award after coming off an ACL injury. We can only expect Peterson to come back stronger and ready to play harder, whenever that may be, and show us the definition of perseverance following his tragic loss.